There Are Many Relationships Within a Family
One of the reasons that families deal with so many different issues is because there are many different relationships in the family. There is the family unit, which consists of the entire family and all of your history, culture and traditions.
A family also includes separate relationships, like the partnership relationship between parents.
Each parent has a relationship with the children as a whole as well as with each individual child. For example, you may be “mom” to all of them but have a particularly challenging relationship with your oldest daughter.
The siblings all have a relationship together. They also each have their one-on-one relationships. In other words, they are all “the kids” but there’s also the older-younger dynamic, the boy-girl dynamic, etc.
Even within this very simple family structure, there are so many different complex relationships.
In the 21st century, you may also have other types of relationships:
- Co-parenting as separated parents
- Grandparent-parent-child relationships in a multigenerational household
- Extended family relationships with close aunts, uncles, etc.
- Step-parent/step-child relationships
- Blended family dynamics including step and half siblings
- Foster and adoptive child relationships with each family member
Take a moment to think about how challenging it is to communicate effectively and treat each other well in a single relationship between just two people. Recognize that a family includes all of these different relationships. It’s no wonder that families have times of strife!